Paul Elementary iPad program fizzles

Paul Elementary School was considered a model of one-to-one classroom technology in 2012, when it received a grant for student iPads.

Now, the K-5 school in rural Minidoka County is a symbol of something else: the scramble to try to keep technology in student hands.

Paul third graders
Third-graders in Paul Elementary School, during the rollout of the iPad program in 2013.

This week, The Times-News in Twin Falls published an interesting update on the Paul iPad project. The school no longer has a contract with iSchool, the Park City, Utah, company that helped set up the iPad program. Paul missed out on the first round of technology pilot grants in 2013. Now, the Minidoka County School District is using supplemental levy money to help pay off the devices, now scattered among four schools.

Paul Elementary is hoping to raise money for additional iPads, The Times-News reports. But even at that, there will probably be only one device for every three students.

The two-year-old technology pilot grant program may be phased out — and it will be up to a new superintendent to decide a course for technology in Idaho schools. Paul Elementary School provides an important reference point for that debate.

Here is a link to our April 2013 feature on the Paul iPad program.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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